Entertainment TV anchor, radio host, WWE wrestler, quarterback — is there anything Maria Menounos can’t do?
The former “Access Hollywood” and “Extra” anchor has teamed up with StubHub to channel her inner Tom Brady by acting as “honorary quarterback” to call the plays for their “Playbook” promotion ahead of Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4.
“It was kind of a natural connection. A friend worked with them, and I’ve been going to the Super Bowl with her for years — this is my 16th,” Menounos told TheWrap on how she got drafted by StubHub.
The “Playbook” will be released in a series of tips and videos through game day. It is designed to give fans everything they need to make it to NFL’s biggest game and to the biggest pre-game fan event of the week, “StubHub Live: Field House,” which is a complimentary event for StubHub Super Bowl ticket buyers held at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
“The pre-party at the Field House for fans is where everyone gets their StubHub tickets before the game, so that party really sets the tone of the day,” Menounos explained. “I am the honoree quarterback, and I am pretty much an expert on how to have the best time ever at a Super Bowl.
Her top tips? “Everyone needs clear bags [because of NFL security regulations], have a good hot dog and a ice cold beer [just because] — and be prepared for anything,” she told us.
It goes without saying that the Super Bowl is the biggest NFL game of the year, and that momentum radiates from the field to the stands (or luxury boxes). “The electricity that runs through your body especially when your team is there is unbelievable — last year I was smashing the boards so hard that I lost the diamond from my engagement ring,” the newly-wed revealed.
Of course, the Medford, Massachusetts, native is hoping and praying that her beloved Patriots will be back to win a sixth ring under Brady, and she thinks she may even be able to help them.
“The first Super Bowl I went to was the first win for the Pats, so I am bit of a good charm,” she said, referring to Super Bowl XXXVI when a young Brady led them to an unlikely victory over the St. Louis Rams.
“Last year was the greatest Super Bowl in history; there will never be a game like that,” Menounos continued. But we’re sure there are some Atlanta Falcons fans who’ll disagree after their team gave up a 28-3 lead to get beaten in overtime.
“When we were down, I was so defeated. I’d had a premonition before the game that they’d do things they’d never done before, and I ran into the suite and said that something unbelievable was going to happen,” she said. “Then I thought I was so wrong. But then we did win … I was texting friends saying ‘we’ve gotta believe, we’ve gotta believe!'”
For the tiny portion of the population who didn’t watch Super Bowl LII, the Patriots went on to win 34-28 — and make NFL history.
When New England was losing, “I was so depressed,” Menounos said, “but Lady Gaga coming out at halftime and killing it was a sign to me … I was like ‘no, I am not going to throw a pity party.'” Let’s hope Justin Timberlake can do the same thing this year.
When asked if she thinks the Patriots can do it again and win a third Super Bowl in four years, Menounos replied: “I always try to be cautious and I don’t want to underestimate a opponent; Jacksonville has a great defense,” she said of their AFC Championship opponents. “I am nervous, but who can beat us? We are so rock solid and we have so many weapons, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are unstoppable force.”
While she’s often spotted wearing a Number 12 Brady jersey, Menounos was in a full wedding dress on New Year’s Eve when she married longtime partner Keven Undergaro live on air during Fox’s broadcast from Times Square — with co-host Steve Harvey officiating, no less!
“I never ever would have expected it to happen like that,” Menounos said of her wedding day. “During my first meeting with the producer [about the show], she said ‘we’re going to have someone get married on the show,’ and suggested me and Keven do it.”
Although initially very cautious, “I got into my car and the light went on, and I thought ‘this might be the perfect thing to do.’ At the end of the day, my mom has Stage 4 brain cancer and you never know what is going to happen.”
With just two weeks of planning, the happy couple was married on Dec. 31 surrounded by close family — and thousands of New Year’s Eve revelers at the biggest party in America.
“It was exactly what we wanted it to be … intimate, but not intimate obviously! I was so excited to be a part of the show that night, but I thought people were crazy to be out in that cold,” she added.
As for her own health battles, Menounos underwent surgery for a brain tumor seven months ago but says she is doing well. “I am still giving myself time to recover and not over doing it.
The experience has also given her a fresh outlook on life. “That’s why we got married. It has changed my perspective on work, everything. I am not on my phone constantly anymore — I leave it behind so I can always be present,” she said.
Check out Menounos’ Super Bowl pre-game at StubHub.com. The Field House kicks off Super Bowl morning and goes until game time. Ticket pickup for fans that purchased Super Bowl tickets on StubHub will also take place at this location on the same day.